Madeleine Johnson and the rest of the Cougar uneven bar workers hope to turn in a high-flying performance Friday at No. 1 Utah. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
PROVO -- After three weeks off from competition, the BYU women’s gymnastics team will be back in action this week in one of the biggest meets of the year. The Cougars will travel north on Friday to take on in-state rival and No. 1-ranked Utah in a quad meet hosted by the Utes. Southern Utah and Texas Woman’s University round out the competition.
"Utah is always a fun meet, and we are looking forward to it,” said BYU head coach Brad Cattermole. “We are focusing on performing our routines and preparing to do the best we can. We are starting to get closer and just need to put it all together."
The Cougars have not competed since Jan. 16 at San Jose State, when they posted their highest score of the season (190.650) while tying for second place with UC Davis. The time off has been both a blessing and a curse for the oft-injured BYU gymnasts.
“Having the layoff is bad in the sense that you get out of the routine of having a meet each week, but it also provides some time to heal a bit and work on some routines,” said Cattermole. “We have been able to work on some routines for the gymnasts that haven’t been able to compete so in that respect it helps.”
BYU will be facing stiff competition in Friday’s meet. Utah is ranked No. 1 this week for the first time since March 28, 2005 and has not counted a fall since the first meet of the year. Southern Utah is listed 32nd nationally while the Cougars come in at 51. BYU will see the Thunderbirds again on Feb. 16 in Cedar City, Utah, and host the Utes on March 20 in the Marriott Center.
The meet starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are available at UtahUtes.com, by calling 801-581-UTIX and at the box office. The last time Utah hosted BYU, the NCAA single-meet attendance fell as a crowd of 15,447 turned out last year. Live video streaming will also be available for CSTV All-Access subscribers with the link posted on the BYU women’s gymnastics schedule page.